I’m now at the end of my fourth week working the apple season at Ragman’s Lane Farm in Gloucestershire. The farm was the venue for my Permaculture Design Course with Patrick Whitefield this June. I had an incredibly inspiring time and met some amazing people here whilst on the course. I have many fond memories from those two weeks and now I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to come back and become part of the farm. I’ve had an amazing time here so far and have decided to stay at least until the end of the year as a WWOOFer, once we finish picking, pressing and bottling apples and juice some time in November.
Getting into a routine of regular physical work has been tough after spending the last 9 months unemployed and doing very little physical activity except walking around Prospect Park in Reading a few times a week. It’s great to feel like I deserve a good rest in the evening and have achieved something during the day. I haven’t started dreaming about apples…yet.
Although the farm is very isolated I’ve had more social contact with like-minded people in the last few weeks than for large parts of the last 9 months. Working with Pete is always a good laugh and I hope he’ll start getting my name right soon! Everyone else on the farm has been lovely and very supportive through the good times and the more difficult times.
I’ve particularly enjoyed working and socialising with Juan-Fran who has been WWOOFing at the farm since February. His experiment creating a vegetable garden using Synergistic Agriculture techniques has been educational for me and delicious! This week I’m going to start teaching him how to identify native trees – a fair exchange.
I have a comforting sense that I’ve found somewhere to be, for a little while, that feels like home.
There are a lot of apples still to be picked and much more juice to be made. I’m really looking forward to it.